A “CARING” councillor who was awarded an MBE has died after a short illness.

Les Alden served Southwick and Fishersgate residents for nearly four years on Adur District Council.

He had been a Labour councillor in London for 23 years, earning an MBE for services to Southwark’s community.

Adur council leader Neil Parkin said he would miss Cllr Alden’s “mischievous smile”.

“While we did not always agree politically, there’s no doubt that Les was a committed and compassionate councillor who worked hard to represent the views of his residents,” he said.

“This is an extremely sad day for the Adur district.”

Adur Labour leader Cllr Lee Cowen said Cllr Alden “dedicated his life to public service”.

“Les was someone who passionately believed in Labour Party values, like no one I’ve ever met before,” Cllr Cowen said.

“Socialism was in his core and he dedicated his life to public service.

“On a personal level he was my mentor and someone who believed in me. I will miss him greatly.”

Adur council chairman Cllr George Barton said Cllr Alden was a “caring and passionate individual”.

“He was committed to supporting people, particularly when it came to housing,” he said.